Pig farming is quickly taking root in the coun- try and Obat Ougo is one of the farmers from Kajulu, Kisumu County, striving to make this a reality. Having ventured into smallscale pig production in July 2006, Ougo has worked hard to become a renowned farmer in the county and is now reaping big from the business. The farmer says he decided to try his hand in pigs after getting tired of keeping dairy cows at his farm at Kamenya village, Kajuju. From the proceeds of his three dairy animals, Ougo bought his first stock of the piglets, which, upon maturity, multiplied progressively. “I realised that pig farming was more profi table and less costly compared to dairy farming,” says Ougo.
Part of the Sh80,000 proceeds from the sale of his cows also went to putting up pig stys.
“Two female pigs and boar at about Sh20,000 each formed part my first stock,” he says.
Eight months, later, he had mature pigs, which in another four months later doubled when the females gave birth. “In a year I had a litter of 22 piglets,” says the farmer, smiling. 
The advantage pigs have over other livestock is that they are easy to maintain and feed on readily available vegetation and local feeds in addition to commercial feeds And he has been lucky. By early 2007, Ougo was already minting money from the pig business after he sold the fi rst stock for about Sh300,000. The stock continued to grow even as Ougo kept selling piglets and mature pigs to the local customers. Currently, his Sodhi Farm has a stock of 100 pigs, comprising both swines and drifts. “Most of my customers here are local butcheries and individuals who fl ock to my farm,” says Ougo,
who works as animal health assistant attached to the ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in Kisumu county. On average, a mature pig goes for between Sh15, 000 and Sh20,000 depending on its weight. “The advantage pigs have over other livestock is that they are easy to maintain and they can feed on readily available vegetation and local feeds in addition to commercial feeds,” says Ougo.
He also sells mature pigs to agents of Farmer’s Choice Limited, a company known for production of pork products such as sausages, bacon, ham and fresh pork. However, the company only buys swines and boars that have attained prime weight (55kg to 75kg) from Ougo. He sells locally those weighing less.
“At the stage of prime weight, the pigs fetch good money compared to when they are overgrown. The market is readily available and I don’t have to wait to sell the pigs; customers just come to the farm gate,” he says. Despite this success, Ougo is facing several challenges. He decries high commercial feed prices and diseases that attack
pigs as major challenges. “Prices of commercial pigs’ feeds have really shot up, leading to lower profi ts. Diseases also pose challenges, although rare unless in cases of cross-infection with other livestock,” says Ougo. He adds: “The secret of keeping the pigs healthy is to confi ne them so that they don’t mix with other roaming animals.”
The farmer admits all is not always rosy. At the initial stages, he
incurred set-up losses associated with pig rearing. “I was forced to dispose off the fi rst breed of pigs I had settled on (Landrace)”. He tried a different breed (pure large white), which he acquired from Maseno University. “The piece of advice I got from a colleague farmer was that large white pig grow faster and are bigger, hence I went for the breed,”
says Ougo. However, Ougo says when it is time to sell, he retains at least one boar in order to cross breed the new stock for better mothering ability. The farmer says he